Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: DUP 'wanted 30 changes to plans for Northern Ireland's leave status'

By Staff Reporter

The DUP sought more than 30 changes to the proposed status of Northern Ireland when the UK leaves the European Union, it has been claimed.

Senior Whitehall sources were quoted yesterday by Sky News saying Arlene Foster and her team were eventually persuaded to accept eight amendments to the deal after "lots of hand-holding".

Last week the DUP blocked a proposed deal which it said would effectively have shifted the border to the Irish Sea.

But a revised version was agreed between the party and Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday.

The new version ensures no separation "constitutionally, politically, economically or regulatory" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK while ensuring no hard border with the Republic.

DUP MP Jim Shannon told Sunday Life: "There is obviously small print to be agreed. I know the party sought many amendments to it - there are over 100 clauses and I would say we put a fair bit of input into that."

A rift between the DUP and the Prime Minister opened up after the party scuppered the first draft of the deal.

But Mr Shannon said the party will now be working closely with Mrs May as Brexit talks move on to Phase 2, dealing with the UK's future trading relationship with the EU.

Writing in the Sunday Independent, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the past week's events over Brexit have "strained" but "not damaged" the Republic's relationship with the UK.

And he warned that Ireland can't allow Brexit to "drive a wedge between north and south".

Outgoing Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gave a cautious welcome to the EU-UK agreement.

But he added: "It does not address some of the key concerns of citizens, particularly those living in the north and in the border region. The insistence by the British that Britain and the North must leave the customs union and the single market are of particular concern."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph